NHL Game Summary - San Jose at Colorado
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - John-Michael Liles got the game-winning goal on a nifty redirection with 2:01 remaining in overtime, as the Colorado Avalanche edged the Western Conference-leading San Jose Sharks, 5-4, to halt a season- high four-game losing streak and bolster their postseason hopes.
Colorado began the extra session on the power play as Sharks left winger Ryane Clowe was assessed a holding-the-stick penalty at the end of regulation. The Avalanche failed to convert, but, moments later, Liles was outside the crease and deflected Ryan Wilson's shot from the right point over the glove of San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.
"I'm not usually someone in front tipping pucks, but I just tried to get it on net and it worked out," Liles said.
Peter Mueller registered two goals and an assist for Colorado, but was forced to leave the game late in the third period after he was driven into the end boards by Sharks defenseman Rob Blake. No penalty was called on the play.
It was Mueller's third two-goal game since the March 3 trade with Phoenix.
Paul Stastny and Kyle Quincey also scored for the Avalanche, who won for just the second time in their last nine games (2-6-1). Milan Hejduk picked up two assists, and Craig Anderson made 18 saves.
With the win, Colorado moved two points ahead of ninth-place Calgary for the West's final playoff spot. The Flames lost in Chicago earlier Sunday. Colorado has four games left, one more than Calgary, as well as the tiebreaker advantage.
Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski scored in the third period to erase a two- goal deficit for San Jose, which has dropped two of three. Nabokov finished with 35 saves.
The Sharks lead Phoenix by five points in the race for the Pacific Division title and hold a slim two-point lead over the Blackhawks for the top seed in the conference.
San Jose's loss enabled Washington to clinch the Presidents' Trophy for the best regular-season record.
Down 2-0, Colorado scored four unanswered goals, seizing the lead on Mueller's second tally with 1:53 remaining the second period.
The Avalanche got on the board at 13:41 of the opening frame. After a San Jose turnover, Ryan O'Reilly sent a lead pass to Quincey, fresh out of the penalty box, and he beat Nabokov on a breakaway.
Colorado tied the game when Adam Foote fired a pass up the middle through the neutral zone to Mueller, whose wrister from the right circle found the back of the net at 13:58 of the second. The assist was Foote's 300th career point.
Matt Duchene played an integral part in the go-ahead goal. He used his speed to gain the attacking zone and charged the net before he left a drop pass to Mueller, who beat Nabokov with another sizzling wrister.
Stastny's power-play goal 20 seconds into the third period gave Colorado a two-goal cushion, but Marleau's career-high 43rd goal of the season cut the deficit to 4-3 at 8:13. Pavelski pumped in a rebound to draw San Jose even with 5:19 left.
"We had a good start and we won the third period. We just had a lapse in the second," Clowe said.
Douglas Murray and Jamie McGinn scored 56 seconds apart to give San Jose a 2-0 lead.